RKDimages webservice (OAI-PMH)

The RKDimages web service is made for application developers and others who want to consult the data in machine-readable format. Through this web service descriptive data is offered works of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. For example, this could be used in collection management systems, websites, or apps. The RKD staff is working continuously on RKDimages, so the content improves and expands over time.

RKDimages web service

This data set is made available under ODbL-BY (Open Database Licence – Attribution). The web service works on the basis of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting OAI-PMH. The format is RDF and using DC-Terms, FOAF en Please note that the license concerns the descriptive data. Images can be retrieved in low resolution watermarked, but these are not yet available as open content. The RKD is currently exploring the possibility of offering images within the public domain.

We encourage free and open use and reuse of the RKD data. Therefore, you may not distribute or sublicense the RKD data under more restrictive terms than those set forth here. For reuse or distribution, include a link to these terms. Acknowledge  the RKD by including the statement 'Data Source: RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History' and linking to the RKD homepage  as illustrated. When using linked data, the URI for the object being referenced (example linked) should be provided. However, you may not imply that the RKD endorses you or your use of RKD data and data services in any way.

Six OAI-PMH protocol sample requests

  • GetRecord used to retrieve an individual record from the repository
  • Identify used to retrieve information about the repository
  • ListMetadataFormats lists available metadata formats that the repository can disseminate
  • ListRecords used to harvest full records from the repository
  • ListIdentifiers used to retrieve record headers from the repository
  • ListSets used to retrieve the set structure of the repository


RKDimages is a database with descriptions and pictures of mainly works of art with a 'Netherlandish background', drawings, prints and original photographs from before World War II. The web service provides a derivative dataset from RKDimages  as seen on the RKD collections website Explore. The dataset is primarily to capture the image collection and research of the RKD. I It can be used by other heritage institutions, and other authority file or for data enrichment and analysis. The images that are offered  at this time are usually not suitable for high-quality publications. Also, rights statements for these images are not always available.  See for more information the record in RKDexplore.